Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Welcome 2019-20 Kindergartners!

What you've heard is true, we ARE a family at here at Achieve.  Happy families go out of their way for each other, stick together through thick and thin, allow each member to be true to themselves, communicate, keep promises, take responsibility for happiness, and practice patience and forgiveness.  Being a part of the Achieve family over the last 14 years I've had the privilege to participate in  this particular kind of school family.  ACS is a learning environment which seeks learners at their level and empowers them to reach the next, supports students and families in the everyday struggles of life, a place where each child is believed in, poured into and held accountable to high expectations.  YOU are now a part of this family, and I'm so thankful that your child gets to experience Achieve.

  • Our first opportunity to meet will be during our Parent/Teacher/Student Personalized Learning Plan (PLP) Conferences on August 12th or 13th.  Check out this BLOG POST to learn how to prepare for your child's PLP.   
  • K Orientation is August 14th, from 9-11am.  This will be your child's first time to meet fellow classmates and get a little snapshot of a day in kindergarten at ACS.  Uniforms are optional. Parents are encouraged to slip out as soon as their child feels comfortable.
  • Our first day of school (August 15) is a minimum day for kindergarten students, school dismisses at 12:30pm.  August 16th is also a minimum day, we dismiss every Friday at 12:30pm.  We will begin our full-day schedule on Monday, August 19th.
  • Stop by the school office to pick up a Parent Driver Application and fingerprinting paperwork if you're interested in being a field trip driver.
  • I've created a private, closed Facebook Group for our class.  Join to get connected with other K families.  Throughout the year this will be a great resource for event reminders and to reschedule your help times if you are unable to keep your regularly scheduled time.   

I look forward to meeting you soon!  Please email me if you have any questions! 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

What in the world is a PLP?!

As the parent of an incoming kindergartner you are about to add a handful of new acronyms to your lexicon.  While these acronyms won't earn you street cred among texting tweens (LOL), you'll be "in the know" with happenings at Achieve.  

PLP - this stands for a Personalized Learning Plan.  A PLP is essentially a conversation we will begin in kindergarten, the document recording that conversation will be used as a tool for helping your child challenge him/herself through their stay here at Achieve.  PLP’s are a unique feature of ACS, they give teachers a jump start to best meet the educational and personal needs of your student.  We'll revisit this document together throughout the year, noting progress towards academic/social skills, addressing learning gaps, setting goals and noting achievement, and putting students in the driver seat of their own educational journey.  It's a pretty powerful thing to witness end-of-year ACS kindergarten students leading their own PLP Conference discussion - communicating their own well thought out goals for the trimester and life.  

Baby steps.  Here's how to prepare for your family's first PLP Conference:
  • Inform your child that they will get to see their Kindergarten classroom and will meet their teacher Mrs. Wright.  We will sit together at a table to talk for a little bit first, I will ask your child about his/her summer (practice with your child at home!)  After we talk for a few minutes the kindergartner may be excused to play with the toys that are set out on the carpet. 
  • We will continue our conversation, be prepared to share your child's strengths and areas for growth.  Share any food allergies, if your child wears glasses, if he/she is right or left handed, or concerns at this time.  
  • All conferences will last 20 minutes, the next family will be waiting to meet with me afterwards.
  • It is alright to bring siblings to PLP Conferences, however I recommend that you make other arrangements for them for our initial meeting.  

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Calming First Day Jitters

The kindergarten countdown is on!  Your kindergartner's countdown chain is growing smaller, and so is my to-do list - it's almost time to welcome in a new batch of recruits.  Here are some ideas to calm first day jitters.
  • Take a low-key approach.  It’s natural to be excited about your child starting kindergarten, but talking about it too much can actually make him more anxious. 
  • Compare Kindergarten to something familiar such as preschool.  Explain that kindergarten will be a place where he will make friends, play with new toys, and learn.
  • Get familiar with the school.  Attend your child’s PLP Conference together, bring your student to Orientation, come to our Ice Cream Social. 
  • Put a family photo in your child’s backpack.
  • Create an easy-to-follow morning routine.  Establish a regular early bedtime, and allocate time in the morning for a healthy breakfast. 
  • Try to minimize your own anxiety.  Model confidence and excitement for your student.  
  • Don’t stay too long.  Reassure your child that you will be back and say a quick goodbye, lingering will only make it more difficult for your child to see you go.  As wrenching as it may be for you to walk away while your child is sad or crying, chances are that she will be happily playing soon after you are out of sight.  (We love to love on your children – keep calm and let a kindergarten teacher handle it.)
  • Identify his anxiety.  What exactly is he afraid of?  Once you establish what his specific fears are you will be better able to address his concerns and work with your child and ACS staff to find ways to handle them.

Ideas adapted from: 
          Lee, Katherine.  "Calming First Day Kindergarten Anxiety."  About Parenting.  Web. 13 
          August 2014.

See you soon,